The 2nd Sunday of Advent is a time for “coming home”. In the Gospel reading http://www.myfranciscan.org/december-7/ we hear John the Baptist crying out in the desert for us to prepare the way of the Lord!! calling us to repentence. This week is a good time to reflect on how prepared we are to meet Jesus, because we never know when our end will come? Birth reminds us of death and death is unpredictable so we have to be ready. I’ve heard it said that we should live each day as though it were our last. Preparing is never easy, but nonetheless important and sometimes we need help and that help can be found through the Grace that accompanies confession. It’s unbelievable at times how obstacles in your life can be crushed by this amazing Grace. A next step may be giving up our comfort zones. These comfort zones may be our view point, our bad habits or desires, anything that leads us away from Christ.
John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. This is a powerful statement. Jesus is igniting us with fire and fire needs oxygen to spread and the Holy Spirit needs our collaboration to move freely through us. We may ask ourselves this week if we are allowing Him to work through us as Mary did or do we hold tight to the reigns taking the lead?
Advent is a time of slowing down and waiting which is not easy to do so I’ve included this unique version of Psalm 23 that may help.
I SHALL NOT RUSH
The Lord is my pace setter . . . I shall not rush. He makes me stop for quiet intervals. He provides me with images of stillness, which restore my serenity.
He leads me in the way of efficiency through calmness of mind,
and His guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
by anointing my mind with His oils of tranquility. My cup of joyous energy overflows. Truly, harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours.
For I shall walk in the Pace of my Lord and dwell in His house for ever.
A version of Psalm 23 as reprinted in Mother Teresa, Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, Prayers, ed. Kathryn Spink (San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1983), 76-77.